MANILA–The legal team of detained Sen. Leila de Lima is currently studying legal options for her to be allowed to attend Senate sessions.
This after De Lima said she would like to join the Senate deliberations on legislative measures. Sessions are set to resume Tuesday.
De Lima said she wanted to take part in the deliberations on important measures, particularly the proposed revival of death penalty, lowering the criminal age responsibility, and the postponement of barangay elections, among others.
She is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City for drug trafficking charges. However, she is allowed to continue to file bills and resolutions in the Senate.
The neophyte senator also remains the chair of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation.
“I have work to do as a senator and I will continue to do so because I owe it to the more than 14 million Filipino people who voted me in office and represent them in the Senate,” De Lima said in a statement.
The neophyte senator said that several detained senators here and abroad were permitted to attend to join Senate proceedings pending the resolution of the charges leveled against them.
She cited former Sen. Justiniano Montano who was charged with the non-bailable offense of multiple murders but was allowed to post bail to perform his senatorial duties in 1950s.
Under the leadership of then Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV was also allowed to participate in Senate proceedings through teleconferencing in 2008.
“I have authored and sponsored important measures I promised the Filipino electorate to shepherd in the Senate. I have an electoral mandate to fulfill and it is my right to attend and participate in the proceedings in the Senate,” the senator said.
“Apart from my rights as a duly-elected senator, I have to invoke my rights as a political prisoner as provided and protected under Philippine laws and jurisprudence as well as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights,” she said.